Editor: I would like to comment on the article from June 15 “Supreme Court of Canada rules against TWU in fight over law school.”
Section 15(1) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms lists 10 specific items on which our rights and freedoms are based. They are race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.
If a product or service is being provided to the public, (this would include educational institutions that charge tuition to someone selling coffee and doughnuts) should the provider of that product or service be allowed to request a paying “customer” to sign a waiver that would limit their rights according to section 15(1)?
We’re familiar with the details concerning LGBTQ students who attend TWU. If this is allowed to happen with one particular item listed in section 15(1) what is stopping any of the other items on the list from being used in this manner?
For example, could a person of a non-Christian faith who wants to attend TWU, hypothetically be asked to cease practising their religion while enrolled? Could this set a parallel precedent?
A notorious American example of discrimination based on race (another item from the list of 10) is the 1968 US Supreme Court decision Newman v. Piggie Park Enterprises, Inc.
Although this took place in the US, it illustrates how a religious belief was used to discriminate based on race, and it happened not all that long ago.